2006 Session: Update #4, through 1/13/06


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2006 Session: Update #4, through 1/13/06  Posted: January 20, 2006

Kentucky Resources Council, Inc.
Post Office Box 1070
Frankfort, Kentucky 40602
(502) 875-2428 phone
(502) 875-2845 fax
e-mail FitzKRC@aol.com

January 13, 2006

2006 REGULAR SESSION: Bills We're Watching
Update #4: Complete Through End of Week 2 - 1/13/06

This list profiles the significant environmental, conservation, consumer and general government bills that are being tracked by the Council during the 2006 session. This is the fourth of many updates. It will be updated at least weekly, and will be supplemented with more detailed analysis on key bills. This cumulative update replaces Update #3 and is current through the end of the second legislative week, January 13, 2006.

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Feel free to forward this to anyone you feel might be interested, and to utilize, reprint or quote from the bill analyses. We ask only that you attribute KRC as the source when you use our analytical material (so we can take all the blame for anything we’ve gotten wrong!)

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WANT TO READ THE BILLS OR CONTACT LEGISLATORS?

For a copy of any bill, or to check the status of the bill, to track which committee it has been assigned to for hearing, and other legislative information, visit the Legislature's Homepage at http://www.lrc.state.ky.us

The phone number to reach a legislator in person is 502-564-8100 (this is not toll-free).

The toll-free meeting schedule information line is 1-800-633-9650. The toll-free message line is 1-800-372-7181, to leave a message for a legislator or an entire committee. The TTY message line is 1-800-896-0305. En Espanol, el nombre es 1-877-287-3134. The toll-free bill status number is 1-877-257-5541.

THE BEST WAY TO REACH LEGISLATORS – IT’S NEVER BEEN EASIER!

Did you know that for a single fax to 502-564-6543, you can reach all of the legislators that you want to contact? You can send a faxed letter, for example, to all Senators and Representatives by listing their individual names on a cover sheet and asking that each get a copy of your letter. The good folks at the LRC fax room will copy your fax and distribute it to all that you list (the recipients must be listed by name.) The LRC web page has a list of all legislators and all committee members.

WEEK TWO: 449 BILLS AND 180 RESOLUTIONS AND COUNTING

On January 3, 2006, the General Assembly convened in Frankfort for the regular "long" legislative session. At the end of week 2 of the session, several bills relating to the environment have already been filed. The General Assembly will be in session until March 27, 2005, and will break then until the veto days on April 10 and 11.

Please note that the Council does not have a position on each bill listed. Some bills are tracked for general interest; others simply to assure that they do not become vehicles for polluter-sponsored amendments. KRC's position concerning bills is indicated with a plus (+) or minus (-). The primary sponsor and current status of the bill are also noted by Committee or chamber. Note also that the House has a requirement for “posting” a bill before it is heard in committee; the Senate does not.

SB 1 (Williams) (-) (S. State & Local Govt)

Proposed constitutional amendment would authorize the General Assembly to cap noneconomic and punitive damages and top mandate alternative dispute resolution in cases involving health care providers licensed or certified by the Commonwealth (i.e. medical malpractice). Kentucky's Constitution protects against legislative limitation of rights of action available to persons injured through the tortuous conduct of another. Section 14 of the Kentucky Constitution guarantees that "All courts shall be open, and every person for an injury done him in his lands, goods, person or reputation, shall have remedy by due course of law, and rights and justice administered without sale, denial or delay." As has been the case in past sessions, KRC opposes any constitutional amendment that would seek to artificially limit for any class of injuries and for the benefit of one class of persons who have by definition inflicted harm on others, the right of any person to bring a civil action and to seek a jury trial for compensatory, punitive and exemplary damages for injuries sustained. Appellate mechanisms within the judiciary already exist to assure that punitive damages bear a reasonable relation to the conduct of the negligent party, and mechanisms exist for courts to control and punish frivolous or meritless litigation.

SB 6 (Scorsone & Pendleton) (+) (S. State & Local Govt)

Would amend Executive Branch Ethics law to clearly cover unpaid executive officers.

SB 10 (Seum) WITHDRAWN

SB 22 (Seum)(-) WITHDRAWN

SB 29 (Carroll) (S. Judiciary)

One of a number of bills filed in response to the Supreme Court Kelo decision, this bill would to restrict the use of eminent domain by public entities to only "qualified public uses" involving public ownership and control; and prohibit eminent domain for private ownership or control including for economic development, unless approved by the voters. KRC will be reviewing all of the proposed eminent domain reform bills during the next week.

SB 31 WITHDRAWN

SB 32 (Pendleton) (+) (S. Transp)

Would amend KRS 176.511 to add one representative of the Brain Injury Association of Kentucky and the secretary of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services to the Off-road Motorcycle and ATV Commission.

SB 39 (Seum) (-) (S. Ag NR)

Second bill aimed at ending the STAR air toxics program in Jefferson County, would prohibit rules and regulations promulgated for air pollution control from being more stringent or “burdensome” that those impose by federal and state government. While the sponsor’s intent is clear, the effect of this bill on the STAR program is less so.

SB 50 (Kelly) (Senate floor with committee amendment)

Agency amendments updating solid waste laws to provide additional flexibility for cabinet in expenditures from Kentucky Pride Fund, and making recycling and household hazardous waste programs eligible for grants. At KRC’s request a committee amendment was made restoring language that allowed the 25% county match funding to be in cash or in-kind.

SB 55 (Seum) (S. State & Local Govt)

Similar to SB 10, this bill proposes a constitutional amendment limiting the agenda of odd-year sessions to revenue and appropriation bills, matters that the Governor proposes, and two subjects agreed upon by House and Senate leadership.

SB 68 (Kelly)(S. Eco. Dev., Tourism & Labor)

Revamps the membership of the Commission on Small Business Advocacy.

SB 75 (Harris)(+) (S. State & Local Gov’t)

Agency bill reauthorizing the Hazardous Waste Assessment Fund until June 2008, and waiving generator fees for those owing less than $50 for the year; but requiring reporting by same. The transaction costs of processing the payments of $50 or less offset the income derived. KRC would hope that during the interim the agency will revisit the assessment amounts, to determine whether the fund is generating the necessary revenue to cover state superfund needs and federal superfund site matching costs.

SB 76 (Harris)(-)(S. Ag. NR)

Agency bill allowing the Cabinet to terminate post-closure monitoring and maintenance of hazardous waste disposal facilities before the end of the 30-year responsibility period.

KRC is extremely concerned that the agency would propose a bill that allows a party currently responsible for thirty-years of post-closure monitoring and maintenance of a hazardous waste landfill to walk away sooner than that. Given that synthetic liners typically have a warranted life of 25 years, the last five years of the post-closure care period are perhaps the most critical in assuring that the surrounding landowners and public will not bear long-term costs associated with the land disposal of hazardous wastes.

SR 1 (Kelly)

Rules of Procedure adopted for 2006 Senate Session.

HB 9 (Marcotte) (H. Transp)

Limits use of cell phones in moving vehicles to hands free phones and emergency situations.

HB 38 (Lee) (H. Labor & Industry) (-)

Right to work law, aimed at weakening unions by prohibiting mandatory membership in a plant or shop that has voted to unionize.

HB 43 (A. Arnold) (H. Elections, Const. Amendments & Intergovernmental Affairs)

Proposed constitutional amendment to extend terms of State Representatives from two to four years beginning in 2008.

HB 52 (Cherry) (H. State Govt)

Would amend Executive Branch Ethics law to include Public Service Commission and its orders concerning utility rates or service within the code.

HB 53 (Vincent) (H. Transportation)

Would provide authority for Kentucky Bicycle and Bikeway Commission to file amicus briefs in cases involving the rights of bicyclists.

HB 66 (Yonts) (To Senate, with committee substitute)

Amends various statutes relating to personal service and other government contracts.

HB 69 (Yonts) (H. Local Govt)

Updates nuisance laws to reflect other forms of local governments and to impose personal liability on landowners for fines and court costs associated with nuisances.

HB 74 (Denham) (H. State Government)

Would establish the Rural Enhancement and Development Committee as a permanent subcommittee of the Legislative Research Commission

HB 82 (Cherry) (H. Tourism Development and Energy)

Would authorize creation of a joint municipal power agency by two or more municipalities.

HB 83 (Pasley) (H. Nat. Res. & Environment) (+)

Would amend strip mining laws to require that overburden must be returned to mine area to the maximum extent possible and that other overburden is to be disposed of in permitted areas or previously mined areas, and that no overburden is to be disposed of in the waters of the Commonwealth. Bill seeks to minimize disposal of mine spoils in valley fills.

HB 85 (Vincent) (H. Transportation)

Would amend junkyard laws to require junkyard operators to report material quantities and income for taxation purposes, and would transfer junkyard regulation from the Department of Highways to the Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet.

HB 86 (Hoffman) (H. Transp) (+)

Would allow primary enforcement of the mandatory seat belt law. KRC will suggest inclusion of language similar to that adopted in other primary enforcement states to report on and track enforcement of the law in order to allow detection of any discriminatory implementation.

HB 95 (Wilkey) (H. Transp)

Establishes speed limit on state highways with four lanes at 65 miles per hour; 55 for state highways with fewer than four lanes, and 35 mph for residential and business districts; unless other speeds are set by state highway engineer based on safety conditions.

HB 103 (Marzian, Draud) (H.A&R)

Would raise the tobacco tax from 26 to 71 cents and increase the tax rate on other tobacco products to 32% effective July 1, 2006.

HB 106 (Wilkey) (H. Transp)(+)

Would allow primary enforcement of the mandatory seat belt law. KRC will suggest inclusion of language similar to that adopted in other primary enforcement states to report on and track enforcement of the law in order to allow detection of any discriminatory implementation.

HB 114 (Wilkey) (H. Judiciary)

Amends eminent domain laws to delineate allowable and prohibited public uses of property subject to eminent domain; to specify "public use" and not "public purpose" as the correct terminology in relation to eminent domain; and to require that commissioners appointed to value property in eminent domain cases be real estate appraisers or realtors and to create a mechanism for their selection.

HB 117 (Meeks) (H. Health and Welfare)(+ with amendments needed)

Aimed at reducing blood lead poisoning in children, the bill would require testing for an elevated blood lead level as part of the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment (EPSDT) program; establish a statewide program for testing of at-risk persons and other target populations of children under age six years of age and pregnant women; and amend existing law to increase the fine for the failure to remove hazardous lead based substances within 30 days of notice. In principle, KRC supports many aspects of the bill; however KRC will seek amendments to protect renters from retaliatory eviction by landlords who are notified of lead hazards and fail to correct them, and to provide the cabinet with authority to seek injunctive relief to compel remediation of lead hazards rather than merely imposing fines or determining a dwelling unfit for habitation.

HB 119 (Meeks) (H. Local Govt)

Amends existing laws to encourage interlocal agreements between counties for essential services.

HB 120 (Crimm) (H. Seniors, Mil. Affairs & Public Safety)

Would require bottled water distributed in the Commonwealth to identify the source of the water on a label affixed to the bottle.

HB 122 (Nelson, Higdon, Moberly) (H. Judiciary)

Another eminent domain bill, would delineate allowable and prohibited public uses of property subject to eminent domain.

HB 126 (Simpson) (H. Local Govt)(posted)

Allows for creation of Joint Code Enforcement Boards by 2 or more cities for enforcement of local ordinances.

HB 145 (Pasley) (H. N.R. & Env.) (+)(posted)

Would extend the waste tire fee until July 31, 2010; and require the Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet to report to the General Assembly by January 15, 2010, on the effectiveness of the waste tire program.

HB 152 (Yonts) (H. Local Govt)

Would modify existing law concerning procedures for adoption of ordinances by cities and counties.

HB 164 (Burch) (H. Transp) (+)

Would require all ATV users to wear helmets and prohibit operation of ATVs by children under 16.

HB 165 (Floyd) (H. Judiciary)

Another eminent domain law; would define permitted and prohibited practices in the use of eminent domain.

HB 166 (H. Local Govt) (posted)

House counterpart to Senate bill 22, aimed at eliminating Louisville’s STAR air toxics program.

HB 183 (Wilkey, McKee) (H. Judiciary)

Another eminent domain bill, would delineate allowable and prohibited public uses of property subject to eminent domain; amend KRS 416.540 to specify "public use" and not "public purpose" as the correct terminology in relation to eminent domain.

HB 187 (Wayne) (H. Local Govt)(+)

Would establish minimum standards for evictions from mobile home lots and extend protections of Uniform Landlord-Tenant Act, where adopted, to renters in manufactured home communities.

HB 192 (Denham) (H. Ag and Small Business) (Posted)

Agritourism bill, limits liability of agritourism professionals and requires warning notices to be placed at the sites of agritourism activities.

HB 214 (Fischer & Harmon) (-) (H. Elections & Const. Am)

Proposed amendment to Kentucky Constitution to allow the General Assembly the power to limit damages for injuries resulting in death, or for injuries to persons or property. Kentucky's Constitution protects against legislative limitation of rights of action available to persons injured through the tortuous conduct of another. Section 14 of the Kentucky Constitution guarantees that "All courts shall be open, and every person for an injury done him in his lands, goods, person or reputation, shall have remedy by due course of law, and rights and justice administered without sale, denial or delay." As has been the case in past sessions, KRC opposes any constitutional amendment that would seek to artificially limit for any class of injuries and for the benefit of one class of persons who have by definition inflicted harm on others, the right of any person to bring a civil action and to seek a jury trial for compensatory, punitive and exemplary damages for injuries sustained to person or property.

HB 215 (Fischer & S. Lee) (-) (H. Judiciary)

Bill aimed at voiding local “fairness” ordinances prohibiting discrimination based on sexual preference or identity, by providing that state civil rights law preempt any local enactments. The measure is an unwarranted intrusion into the authority of local communities acting through their elected officials, to establish civil rights policies more protective of individual rights than state policy.

HB 226 (M. Harmon & J. Fischer) (-) (H. Elections & Const. Am)

Another approach to prohibiting state or local government from enacting any civil rights protections against sexual orientation-based discrimination, intended to achieve same effect as HB 215.

HB 229 (Jenkins & Wayne) (H. Local Govt) (posted)

Establishes a permitting program for development within noise sensitive areas around airports. KRC is working with bill proponents and with sponsors on clarifying amendments in order to protect rights of existing landowners to continue residential uses and modify or alter existing structures without requiring permits.

HB 233 (W. Hall) (H. Tourism Dev. & Energy)

Would establish a Kentucky Multiple-use Recreational Trail Commission, to be attached to the Commerce Cabinet, and set forth responsibilities to develop and implement a multi-county demonstration trail system project.

HB 239 (Gray) (H. NR & Env)(-)

Would amend KRS 350.010 to exclude sand or gravel from the definition of "strip mining," thus deregulating the environmental impacts of sand and gravel mining.

HB 252 (Burch) (H. H&W, posted)

Would ban sales of competitive foods in vending machines in public schools, and would reimburse each school the average annual revenue generated in the past 3 years from such sales for the benefit of schools, academic and athletic programs.

HB 262 (Denham) (H. Local Gov’t)

Would authorize local governments with sufficient staff expertise to issue building permits to landowners seeking to develop land in a flood hazard area; and require the state Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet to abide by local flood hazard area building permit determinations.

HB 268 (McKee) (H. Ag & Sm. Bus.)

Would amend existing law to allow Department of Agriculture to specify test methods to be used for testing of pesticides, and to set fees by regulation.

HB 275 (Lindsay)(H. Tourism Dev. & Energy)

Waives restrictions of sales of power from electric cooperatives to nonmembers for consumers of over 200 megawatts, and allows such sales to nonmembers to be treated as if a member sale.

HB 283 (Owens and others) (+)(H. A&R)(posted)

Emergency appropriation of $5 million to help low-income energy assistance program; also amends existing law to require annual reporting by utilities of their efforts to meet low-income weatherization and heating assistance needs within their service area.

HB 289 (Webb and Turner)(+) (H. N.R. and Env.)

Would ban computer-assisted remote hunting.

HB 309 (Gooch & Brinkman) (+)

Would add a representative from the Brain Injruy Association of Kentucky and the Cabinet for Health and Family Services to the Off-Road Motorcycle ATV Commission.

HB 327 (McKee and Pasley)(H. Ag and Sm. Business)

Would allow the Board of Agriculture to withhold “critical infrastructure” information relating to agricultural or food data records. “Critical infrastructure” means is defined in section 1016(e) of the USA Patriot Act of 2001 (42 U.S.C. 5195c(e)) as ``systems and assets, whether physical or virtual, so vital to the United States that the incapacity or destruction of such systems and assets would have a debilitating impact on security, national economic security, national public health or safety, or any combination of those matters.''

HB 329 (Nelson)

Would allow the Transportation Cabinet and local governments to designate a route on public roads from a government-established ATV park to an off-site parking lot, provided that the route is marked, the vehicle operator has a driver’s license and the ATV has lights.

HB 338 (Wayne and others)(+)(H. Local Gov’t)

Establishes an affordable housing trust fund to assist in the development of affordable housing for very low-income households.

HB 348 (Riggs)(H. Local Gov’t)

Would establish a permanent legislative committee to study Metropolitan and Micropolitan Issues.

HR 3 (Richards) Adopted

Rules of Procedure to govern the 2006 Regular Session of the House of Representatives.

HJR 7 (Cherry) (H. Transp)

Would direct the Transportation Cabinet to include the Cumberland Gap and Trail of Tears automobile tours on the official Kentucky road map.

HCR 12 (Meeks) (Passed House)

Would establish a task force to study the problem of urban violence in communities with consolidated governments.

HJR 20 (Meeks) (H. Tourism Dev. & Energy)

Resolution asking Kentucky Congressional delegation to support legislation calling for federal approval of extension of the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail.

HCR 21 (Pullin) (H. Tourism Dev. & Energy)

Urges Congress to tax the excess profits of oil companies.

HCR 24 (Brinkman, Bowen) (H. Judiciary)

Urges Congress to pass an amendment to the Constitution to protect the rights of citizens in their private property from government takings for private economic development.

HCR 26 (Nelson) (H. Tourism Dev. & Energy)

Request and petition the Kentucky Public Service Commission not to authorize utility rate increases in 2006.

HR 27 (Wayne & Stein) (House Floor)

Resolution urging car manufacturers to install safety devices on cars alerting individuals that a child has been left in a locked car.

HCR 28 (R. Webb) (H. NR & Env)

Would create an E-scrap Task Force, to study ways to increase recycling of electronic waste; report findings and recommendations to the Legislative Research Commission by December 1, 2006.

HCR 34 (Webb) (+) (H. State Govt)

Would establish a task force to assess the utilization of privatization in Kentucky state government.

HJR 47 (Meeks and others) (H. Tourism Dev. & Energy)

Resolution urging Kentucky Congressional Delegation to support legislation calling for the extension of the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail to the east.


By Kentucky Resources Council on 01/20/2006 5:32 PM
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